Archives for April 10, 2016

Lee Eisenberg – How to Give Life Meaning

Lee EisenbergEpisode: 038

Listen to Lee’s journey and discovery on why some memories are more important than others.

Lee Eisenberg was the editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine for two decades. In 1995, he joined Time Inc. as a consulting editor and helped launch a series of new initiatives such as, Time for Kids, and The Time 100. In 2006, he published The Number, which became a national bestseller. Today, Lee talks
to Connor and Roger about his latest book, The Point Is, and why having a personal narrative is so important for our life journey.
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Key Takeaways:
[0:30] As of today, we’re in Toronto, L.A, and Vancouver.
[0:35] If you’re in any of those cities, come out to our event.
[2:55] What was a defining moment for Lee as a man?
[4:25] How do we really build a life story for ourselves?
[5:00] Why did Lee write The Point Is?
[7:15] Why do we endure certain memories and re-write others?
[8:50] Personal narrative requires a lot of self-reflection.
[9:00] Were there any commonalities in how people saw themselves?
[10:35] Lee has only kept a diary once in his life.
[12:20] When you record events in real time, you really don’t know what they’ll stand for later.
[12:50] Virtually no one is keeping a diary.
[16:25] Lee is a bit cynical about talk therapy; however, it can help reexamine past traumas and bad memories and help you rewrite your life story.
[17:35] Most people feel like they’re not using their creative channel efficiency.
[18:45] It’s important to uncover your story as well as share your story.
[20:10] You don’t necessarily tell your story to others, but at the very least tell your story to yourself.
[20:20] Why do we remember certain things so strongly and why do we attach so much importance to certain things?
[20:55] How can people dive into their personal story a bit more?
[22:25] We create personal myths for ourselves. What is your personal myth?
[23:30] What novel genre would your life story be?
[27:50] The power of narrative is why we can go through life and make some sense of it.
[28:55] Do people get their personal narrative mixed up with other people’s view of them?
[30:25] What legacy would Lee like to leave behind?

Mentioned in This Episode:
The Number by Lee Eisenberg
The Point Is by Lee Eisenberg

Music Credit:
J Parlange & Latenite Automatic ( –
“We often do not stop and think about ‘was it right’ and then often, we don’t go back and revisit ‘why did I do that.”
“Why do we remember certain things so strongly and why do we attach so much importance to certain
“The power of narrative is why we can go through life and make some sense of it.”

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Why Women Stay In Relationships With Emotionally Unavailable Men

How Girls Are Initiated Into Dysfunction

In my work as a dating, relationship and intimacy coach, it’s often sobering to see how much the love that was absent in our childhood (and how we learned to cope with that absent love), drives our relationships in the adult years.
I often teach women to understand where men are coming from and the possible struggles and wounds they’ve faced, but I also teach men to have more insight into the struggles women grow up with.
You may have asked yourself at one time or another why many women find themselves attached to “absent love” by going after men who don’t show up for them and are emotionally unavailable.
The “not quite” divorced man.
The emotionally shut down man.
The man who uses them as a diversion while out looking for something better.
To be able to separate their attachment (or attraction) to an emotionally unavailable man many women need to figure out the subconscious relationship dynamics at play.
If a woman had an emotionally distant or absent father for example, it frequently leads to her establishing a pattern of relating to absent love.
After all, the love she learned in childhood was absent, and this is what she knows — that to get love somehow feels absent.
This leads many women to be the pursuer in relationships with men and to chase love, over-function and over-give to a guy, because they always have to earn that absent love their inner little girl was chasing….. instead of allowing love to come to them.
In a dysfunctional way of protecting themselves, only then do these women feel in love and feel intense desire or attraction.

What Does Absent Love Look Like?

It often looks like an emotionally unavailable man.
When these little girls have absent human fathers to learn to relate to, they create fantasy fathers in their mind, grabbing pieces here and there from movies, books or neighborhood fathers and projecting their idealized father.
So when a real man comes along, they are unable to see the man, they only see Mr. Right, Prince Charming, Rescuing Knight in Shining Armour.
They can’t see the human behind the man which forces the emotionally unavailable man further into his shell, his fear of being known is triggered, because who can live up to that projection?
Women with patterns of attaching to absent love need to work through this pattern so they can come out of their projected fantasy and come into relationship with a real, quality, man who is available for a deep and loving relationship.

How Women Can Change

The incredible thing is that in my practice I often see women turn this around and a relationship that was previously stalled begins to move forward.
For example, I was recently working with a client who was dating a man she had diagnosed on her own as emotionally unavailable.
She had come to me wanting my help in getting over him but as I heard the details of their interactions and how their dating relationship had panned out over a series of months, it was clear this pattern was at work.
As we worked through and unearthed her wounding around her absent father she realized that she had been showing up as emotionally unavailable for him.

She had been trying so hard to “get him” to love her and give her certainty through a commitment, that she kept projecting on to him expectations instead of deepening their connection.
This had him on the fence, feeling unsafe to move forward, chronically showing up for a few days before pulling away once again, feeling attraction for her but not quite stepping up to commit.
As soon as we began separating her actual feelings for him from her projected absentee father issues, her vibe shifted. She began showing up relaxed, present, deeply connected and willing to let go of control instead of needy, clingy and suspicious.
Her expectations loosened up and her self-esteem went up. Her vibrancy and kindness also showed up in a big way.
As she became emotionally safe, available and with dropped expectations, he started feeling more attraction toward her and wanting to spend more time with her. They have since begun a committed relationship and are doing great together.

The women I work with often come to realize that showing up in this way has kept them in a pattern of absent love and learn that the first step they need to take is to work through this so they can become available to the love they really want.

Giordana Toccaceli is an International Dating, Relationship and Intimacy Expert having worked with thousands of women and men around the world to become their most attractive and magnetic selves and attract incredible partners into their lives in record time.
Giordana has worked with a wide range of clients from Top CEOs, Billionaires, successful entrepreneurs, professional athletes, actors, models and every day men and women. She is a regular contributor to Univision TV’s morning show “Despierta Austin” and the Founder of Woman’s Allure and the Co-Founder of Embody Love Project.
Book a free Discovery Session today and find out what’s holding your back from feeling deep freedom, vibrant health, and alignment in your life. Access your free gift today: Get Giordana’s Heal Your Heart” 10 Minute Meditation.

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The Real Reason We Need to Stop Trying to Protect Everyone’s Feelings

Like every kid, I was forced to read Fahrenheit 451 in high school.
If you’d asked me what it was about before last week, I would have told you: “Firemen who burn books.”
And if you’d asked me why on earth they did that, I would have answered just as confidently: “Because a tyrannical government wanted them to.”
There is a trend afoot to conveniently remember the works of authors like Ray Bradbury and Aldous Huxley as warnings against distant totalitarianism and control. But this only scratches the surface of what these books are about.
Earlier this year a community college student in San Bernardino protested being required to read a Neil Gaiman graphic novel in one of her classes. It was too graphic, apparently. Her father—who does not seem to understand that his daughter is a separate human being (an adult one no less)—told The Los Angeles Times, “If they [had] put a disclaimer on this, we wouldn’t have taken the course.” A mom in Tennessee has complained that the gynecological information in the book in the bestselling nonfiction science book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is too pornographic for her 10th grade son.
While these conservative complaints about the content of books is unfortunately as old as time. We’re also seeing surge in a different type.
A Rutgers student has proposed putting trigger warnings on The Great Gatsby. Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” was banned on many college campuses for promoting rape. Last year, Wellesley students created a petition to remove an art project featuring a lifelike statue of a sleepwalking man in his underwear in the snow because it caused “undue stress.” Controversial speakers (many conservative) have been blocked from speaking at college commencements. Pick up artists—never convicted of any crime—have had their visas revoked due to trending Twitter hashtags.
In August, Jezebel ran the headline “Holy Shit, Who Thought This Nazi Romance Novel Was a Good Idea?” I remember thinking, “Um, probably the fucking writer who spent a lot of time writing it.” Whether they succeeded at making anything good, I cannot say, but should they be shamed for trying? It’s not as if there aren’t good books of Nazi love stories. In fact, there is one called The Reader!
The people in these examples are certainly a bit ridiculous—but by no means bad. None of them see themselves as censors, naturally. They were being sensitiveoutraged, protective or triggered. And to be fair, most of their complaints and protests stop short of actually saying “This should not be allowed anywhere.”
But that distinction matters less than they think.
Let’s go back to 451, which I found myself re-reading recently. It begins with Guy Montag burning a house that contained books. Why? How did it come to be that firemen burned books instead of putting out fires as they always had?
The firemen have been doing it for so long they have no idea. Most of them have never even read a book. Except one fireman—Captain Beatty—who has been around long enough to remember what life was like before. As Montag begins to doubt his profession—going as far as to hide a book in his house—he is subjected to a speech from Beatty. In it Beatty explains that it wasn’t the government that decided that books were a threat. It was his fellow citizens.
“It didn’t come from the government down,” he tells him. “There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no!”
In fact, it was something rather simple—something that should sound very familiar. It was a desire not to offend—of an earnest notion to literally have “everyone made equal.” And it’s at the end of this speech that we get the killer passage:

“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right?…Colored people don’t likeLittle Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, to the incinerator.”

And before you get offended, let’s clarify what Bradbury means by minorities. He’s not talking about race. He’s talking about it in the same way that Madison and Hamilton did in the Federalist Papers. He’s speaking about small, interested groups who try to force the rest of the majority to adhere to the minority’s set of beliefs.
I don’t mean to cherry pick. I see no need to pile on to college students as being particularly responsible for the “coddling of the American mind.” (Great piece, read it.) Though I do find it ironic that we require kids to read this book in high school and just a few years (or months) later, they’re leading the charge on exactly the kind of well-intentioned censorship Bradbury was talking about. I don’t mean to say that these examples come close to the kind of overt censorship that every reasonable person dreads. But I do mean to say that they come from the same place—and very alarmingly—ultimately end together in a much worse place.
In the 50th anniversary edition, Bradbury includes a short afterword where he gives his thoughts on current culture. Almost as if he is speaking directly about the events above, he wrote: There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.”
There’s that saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. When it comes to censorship, one might say that the road to thought and speech control is paved by people trying to protect other people’s feelings.
It’s important to realize that today, we have a media system paid by the pageview and thus motivated with very real financial incentives to find things to be offended about—because offense and outrage are high-valence traffic triggers. We have another industry of people—some call them Social Justice Warriors—who, despite their sincerity of belief, have also managed to build huge platforms by inventing issues and conflicts which they then ride to prominence and influence. One might call both of these types Rage Profiteers. They get us riled up, they appeal to our notions of fairness and empathy—who likes to see someone else’s feelings hurt?—without any regard for what the consequences are.
Of course, the real and fair solution is much less politically correct but effective. It’s to stop trying to protect people’s feelings. Your feelings are your problem, not mine—and vice versa.
Real empowerment and respect is to see our fellow citizens—victims and privileged, religious and agnostic, conservative and liberal—as adults. Human beings are not automatons—ruled by drives and triggers they cannot control. On the contrary, we have the ability to decide not to be offended. We have the ability to discern intent. We have the ability to separate someone else’s actions or provocation or ignorance from our own. This is the great evolution of consciousness—it’s what separates us from the animals.
What also separates us is our capacity for empathy. But how empathetic the speech we decide to use is choice for each one of us to make. Some of us are crass, some of us are considerate. Some of us find humor in everything, some of us do not. It’s important too—but those of us that believe it and live our lives by a certain sensitivity cannot bully other people into doing so too. That sort of defeats the purpose.
There is a wonderful quote from Epictetus that I think of every time I see someone get terribly upset about one of these things (I try to think about it when I get upset about anything): “If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation.”
He said that some 1,900 years ago. Even then we felt that it was easier to police the outside than examine our inside.
Control and discipline of one’s own reactions make for a successful person and a functioning society. I don’t think you want to live in a world where that isn’t the expectation of each of us. I don’t think you want to see the things that will need to happen when the burden of making sure everyone is happy and not offended is put on the government—or worse, a corrupt and bitter blogosphere.
But that seems to be the road we’re going down. Even though we’ve been warned.
This article originally appeared in The New York Observer.
Read More By Ryan Holiday on ManTalks:
10 Strategies for Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities
Ryan-Holiday-interview-on-Chase-Jarvis-LiveRyan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a  Media Manipulator and two other books. He is an editor-at-large for the New York Observer and his monthly reading recommendations are found here. He currently lives in Austin, Texas.
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